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It is not that I try to avoid these people — it is just that I have no interest in going to bars, and this is where expats like to socialize. Last month we moved to Rayong, and there is a substantial expat community in the local area. The other day I met one of my fellow expats, and it turned out to be an uncomfortable experience.
In an old post on here I discussed the dilemma of acknowledging other westerners in Thailand. The other day I was on my walk when I happened to make eye contact with another foreigner — instinctively I offered him a smile.
He was good enough not to return my acknowledgement with a blank stare, and we ended up having a conversation. I would have dismissed this guy as some kind of sex-nut, but I remembered having had thousands of similar conversations like this. During my drinking years, this would be the main topic of conversation among expats. I remember 12 years ago arriving at my first teaching gig in Bangkok, and the first words out of the mouth of the other foreign teacher was to invite me to go along with him to a brothel during our lunch break.
I was far from a perfect teacher, but I knew that such school-break activities went well beyond unprofessional. My guess is that most of these guys would not behave the same way back in their home countries because there is a taboo about against paying for sex. I suppose the thing that bothered me most was the fact that this guy just assumed that I was the same as him — that I was another sex tourist.
I found the conversation to be embarrassing, and I was just happy to get away from him in the end. There are many people who come to Thailand for sex, but it would be wrong to suggest that this is the motivation for most expats.